Northeastern University Snell Experiential Library
Academic libraries have a tremendous impact on teaching, learning, and student success. Their traditional role in discovery of resources in a networked world has changed. CBT’s role in amplifying the students’ experience at the Northeastern University’s Snell Library began as a master plan process studying the role of the physical environment in encouraging participatory knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurship. To support the current and future needs of the library, the study focused on connected experiential learning, adaptability, the development of hybrid spaces supporting research, teaching, learning, faculty and student interaction.
The first step of realizing the master plan was an 80,000-square-foot renovation of the third and fourth floor of the library which included a 40,000-square-foot Innovation Space. Modular, flexible, and technology-rich spaces, including group meeting spaces and project team areas, support interdisciplinary research. Furniture typologies provide individual, focused and collaborative work zones. The customizable learning spaces facilitate experiential research and interaction with industry partners across a global network. New and emerging modes of research and scholarship, including digital humanities, are made visible and approachable.
The library design reflects the University’s goal of “learning any time, from anywhere, with anyone," and allows it to better position its resources as a physical and virtual intercultural hub, helping facilitate and connect networks of instructors, researchers, learners, and industry partners.
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